I love any recipe that starts with the word “rustic”. To me, it means that there’s no stress that my finished product has to look like a Pinterest or Instagram photo and it becomes a little more personalized.

If you’ve read my recipe contributions you know that I love tomatoes and I’m definitely a big fan of this tart. I hope that you enjoy it too.

Rustic Tomato Tart with Parmesan and Thyme Crust

The first thing you need to know is that you must prepare your tomatoes in advance. I slice mine in the morning and assemble and bake the tart in the late afternoon.

Tomato Tart Filling Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 freshly grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
  • 1 pound of ripe tomatoes
  • fresh thyme leaves and sprigs for garnish
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Salt flakes to finish (optional)

Tomato Tart Filling Instructions

  1. Prepare the tomatoes by slicing them into ¼” rounds.
  2. Layer them in a colander and sprinkle some coarse salt between layers.
  3. Place the colander in a bowl or on a plate and allow to drain, tilting the colander every so often to release the trapped juice. This part of the process is really important because if your tomatoes are wet you’ll end up with a mushy tart.

You will also need to make a crust. Yes, you can purchase a ready-made rolled pie crust but trust me, it will not be the same. Truth be told I had a fear of making my own crusts for years but I’ve found a foolproof recipe by Dorie Greenspan which I use for all my savory tarts. So, make this crust, ok?

Savory Tart Dough Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter cut into small bits
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon ice water

Savory Tart Dough Instructions

  1. In a food processor or stand mixer (my preference) add the flour, sugar, and salt and mix to blend.
  2. Scatter the pieces of butter over the flour and mix until the butter is coarsely mixed into the flour.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the egg and ice water and pour it over the flour mixture in three additions, mixing after each. 
  4. At this point, add a ¼ cup of the Parmesan and 1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves. Mix until a dough forms.
  5. Put about a tablespoon of flour onto a work surface and turn out the dough, gathering it into a ball.
  6. Knead it lightly and flatten it into a disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour (you can make the dough a day in advance if you like).

Putting It All Together

  1. When you are ready to assemble your tart, remove the tomatoes from the colander and place them on a couple of layers of paper towel to dry out a bit more.
  2. Remove the dough from the fridge and let rest for about 5 minutes, until it is easy to work with.
  3. Roll it out directly on a piece of parchment paper to roughly 12” round and about 1/8” thick.
  4. Pop it back in the fridge for 10 minutes while your oven preheats to 450 degrees.
  5. Now, scatter the remaining 1 cup of Parmesan cheese over the base of the tart, leaving a 2” wide border.
  6. Arrange your drained tomatoes evenly over the cheese and fold the edges of the dough over the tomatoes.
  7. Lightly brush the edges of the dough with olive oil and then season with a few grinds of black pepper.
  8. Bake until the crust is golden, about 30-35 minutes
  9. Remove and cool for at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle with salt flakes and add a sprig or two of thyme to garnish.

Serves 4-6

Karen Sagaspe is a Rhode Island native who enjoys food, wine, entertaining and travel. Cooking for friends and family is one of her favorite things to do. She has traveled extensively, lived in Florida, Paris, France and Cape Town, South Africa. When she isn’t in the kitchen, Karen is probably reading a book surrounded by her two Shih Tzu.